For years, Google was the entry page on the Internet. Google was the undisputed leader in the market. But the fact is that, possibly for the joy of the seeker, things are changing.
Google is no longer the final door, the first step. For many consumers, social networks are the first destination port of call when connected, and in this overall target, the social media universe, the big winner is Facebook, which is the first page that many consumers see first.
Some studies support the conclusion that Facebook has already made an advance over Google as a source of traffic. Facebook had become the main source of traffic for some very popular sites on the net. This is what happened with BuzzFeed.
BuzzFeed is not the only site that owes its success to social networks. Many other great successful stories of recent media landscape have seen their growth marked by its success on social networks and the fact that consumers increasingly share more and more content on Facebook.
Facebook overtakes Google
Facebook has overtaken Google as a source of referral traffic, according to data just made public Parse.ly. According to data from the firm, based on traffic data top 400 online media, Facebook accounts for 38.3% of all referral traffic, compared with 35.8% coming from Google. Parse.ly analysts recognise that Google is still in a strong position and remains a major force in referral traffic (not that it has gone from 100 to nothing), but remember that this change not only confirms Facebook as a player in this area but also gives a new cartridge in the war it has with the search for the network traffic. Do not forget that Facebook is also fighting for a market now dominated by the unbeatable Google, the online video.
The reasons for this situation can be due to changes in the Internet consumption, now of paramount way to access information in social settings.
Parse.ly data is not the only one supporting this positon of Facebook over Google, but earlier this year, StatCounter released statistics which pointed that Google was losing ground. The search engine market leader had recorded their biggest decline in traffic since 2008, perhaps marked by the fact that Firefox is no longer included as default search engine.
Traffic Sources are changing
The fact that traffic sources are changing means that companies have to be more alert than ever to the situation to know where they have to play in order to attract consumers. How to attract traffic?
As you remember from Simply Measured, the first step is to find which network that adds value. That is, we must analyse relevant sources of information, and it is mandatory to compare conversion rates. Perhaps a social network will bring more traffic than another source, but perhaps that other traffic source has generated higher conversion rates, hence it is more valuable.